Happy New Year! As we leave 2023 behind and move on into 2024, many people are reflecting back on the past year and perhaps setting goals for the next 12 months. As it turns out, Man’s Best Friend had a few noteworthy moments last year. In this article, a local Fredericksburg TX vet discusses some of the most memorable dog stories of 2023.
It always warms our hearts to see dogs find their forever homes. Recently, numerous pups in Pennsylvania had their dreams of getting adopted come true. The Adams County Pennsylvania SPCA joyfully announced that, after almost five decades, they had placed all of their dogs in loving homes and had only empty cages. Well, almost empty. (A cat wandered in right before they were about to make the official announcement.) The shelter took to Facebook to share the amazing news, posting: “For the first time in 47 years, our shelter is empty – an incredible miracle especially during the holiday season!”
Congratulations to all the newly adopted pups! We hope to see more similar announcements in the coming year.
A Long Journey Home
After seven long years, a fortunate dog named Rose has finally found warmth and safety. The 12-year-old Patterdale terrier was spotted last year near the quaint village of Crawley Down in West Sussex, England. Lost Dog Recovery UK, a local volunteer nonprofit rescue, was contacted for assistance. With the help of food and a camera, the rescuers were able to successfully capture Rose. They were relieved to find that the dog was well-fed: as she was known to locals, so it’s likely that the villagers had been looking out for her. (Interestingly enough, Rose turned out to be a bit picky: it took a warm roast chicken topped with paté to entice her into the cage.)
A microchip revealed Rose’s origins. The sweet dog had been lost within 24 hours of being adopted, and had been immediately reported missing. Her former owners were thrilled to hear she was safe, but were unable to take her back due to unforeseen changes in their situation. We’re just happy to hear that she is safe.
Furry Porch Pirate Steals Hearts
Home delivery services were a lifeline for many during the pandemic. That trend does not seem to be slowing down anytime soon. Unfortunately, the convenience of one-click shopping also comes with a downside for many, as porch piracy is also on the rise. There isn’t much of a bright side to this unfortunate trend, but it did make for some comedy gold in 2023, when a German Shepherd turned a Prime delivery driver’s day upside down by repeatedly running off with a package the driver was trying to drop off. You can find the video of the pup’s antics on TikTok, where user @juicecupboxx posted it.
A Change We Want To See
Occasionally, an incredibly heartwarming story about canines stops us in our tracks. That is definitely the situation with the following account. A rescue pup named Chiquita was finally adopted after a lengthy 650-day stay at a North Carolina animal rescue. Chiquita, also known as Chiqui, was afraid of being in the shelter and was constantly moving between the adoption center and foster homes before finally getting her forever home.
The Watauga Humane Society’s joyous posts received an overwhelming response, with many commenters expressing their emotions over the news. Chiquita–or Chiqui–has a loving nature and is described as a “love bug.” We hope 2024 will be a fantastic year for this 12-year-old dog, who like many of our canine patients, enjoys walks and naps.
Beyond The Bark: Communicating With Fido
Have you heard about paw pad buttons? These are customizable devices that speak programmed words when dogs step on them. This may sound a bit wild, but it turns out that many of our canine buddies are quite adept at learning how to communicate with their humans. The University of California San Diego is currently conducting a research project on Fido’s affinity for using these ‘pawesome’ speaking devices.
If your puppy is quick to pick things up, you may want to give these a try. Of course, most pups use their paws to specifically ask for treats, walks, belly rubs, and play time. (Results may vary.)
The popular saying that claims everything old becomes new again definitely holds true for the Bracco Italiano, or the Italian Pointing Dog. This breed, also referred to as the oldest European Pointer, originated as a mix of the Asiatic Mastiff, which is now extinct, and the Segugio Italiano. Fido had become quite popular by medieval times, and even became a favorite pet among aristocratic households during the Renaissance. However, at the start of the 20th century, poor breeding practices resulted in health issues and an undesirable body conformation. Thankfully, dedicated breeders stepped in. For decades, they carefully selected pups to breed, also uniting two distinct variations of the Bracco Italiano. Their result? A Very, Very Good Boy.
Fido is now recognized as a smart, loyal, and versatile companion who excels both as a pet and a hunting partner. He was even featured in this year’s Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show!
The News Has Gone To The Dogs
Weather may not always be the most riveting topic on the news, but every now and then it takes a surprising turn. In 2023, a special guest interrupted the morning weather report. New England weatherman Josh Judge was giving his much-welcomed forecast of sunny skies when he was joined by an adorable pooch named Bella. Turns out that the fluffy black and white pup belonged to one of the weekend anchors and was there for a segment about veterinarians. Maybe Bella was just excited about the sunny weather.
A Heartwarming Reunion Between A Dog And His Favorite Human
We’re always touched by stories of dogs reuniting with their owners. Earlier this year in San Antonio, Texas, there was a particularly remarkable reunion between U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Mike Alcala and his former canine partner, John, a German shepherd. After meeting in 2018, the two immediately formed a strong bond, and became certified as a team within just two weeks. They worked together for three years, often protecting high-profile clients, such as the U.S. vice president. When John retired, Alcala was able to adopt him. We hope that this amazing and brave pooch is enjoying a well-deserved retirement with his beloved human companion.
Mysterious Canine Respiratory Disease
You may have heard about an outbreak of a mysterious respiratory disease affecting our canine companions this year. There have been outbreaks in 16 American states and Canada. This particular issue is quite worrisome: the as-yet-unnamed illness can make Fido very, very sick, and can even be fatal. Several dogs have unfortunately succumbed, some in as little as 24 hours. Places where there are a lot of dogs present, such as kennels and dog parks, pose the greatest risk of contagion.
While there is no cause for panic, it’s advisable to take extra precautions, particularly if your dog has a weakened immune system or pre-existing health concerns. Keep up with Fido’s vaccines and parasite control, and watch for symptoms, which include coughing, fever, loss of appetite, and difficulty breathing. If any of these signs arise, contact your veterinarian ASAP.
Please feel free to contact us for all of your dog’s veterinary care needs in 2024 and beyond. As your Fredericksburg TX pet hospital, we’re here to help!